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Tsé's Build

Discussion in '1st Gen Builds (2000-2006)' started by NomadicFrog, May 13, 2018.

  1. May 13, 2018 at 11:25 AM
    #1
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Just bought my 2003 Tundra Access Cab with 95K miles on it. I'm completely new to Toyotas, Tundras, and trucks in general. I bought it because I have become addicted to getting further off the pavement than my former Ford Focus hatchback would allow, particularly the high desert of the Colorado plateau in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

    Here are some photos and stories from trips I've made to that area:

    http://www.nomadicfrog.com/journal/2017/07/14/great-tintype-adventure-of-2017-part-1
    http://www.nomadicfrog.com/journal/2017/09/18/excursion-to-the-toroweap-overlook
    http://www.nomadicfrog.com/journal/2017/10/26/great-tintype-adventure-of-2017-part-3

    (I know I said I was new to trucks: the yellow "truck" in those pics is my fiancées ancient Ford Escape.)

    Also got a ride out to watch the eclipse with my friend Shane and his Tundra:

    http://www.nomadicfrog.com/journal/2017/08/27/solar-eclipse-of-2017-a-tintype-attempt

    My Tundra is also my daily driver, since in order to afford it I traded in my Focus...which cut my gas mileage by 2/3.

    == Mods so far ==

    My general idea when I get a new car is to protect it, prepare for issues, and fix little things that irritate me.

    IMG_9600.jpg

    -Gaffer tape over the door lock / unlock beeper.

    -Haynes Repair Manual.

    -Westin rubber truck bed mat.

    -Floor mats: tried Weathertechs, they didn't fit very well - weird gap at the door, etc. Going to try Huskys, but they don't seem to have the fancy version for older Tundras any more?

    -New windshield wipers. Very exciting, I know.

    == Plans ==

    Since I spent twice as much on the truck as I had planned, bigger mods will have to wait a bit, but here's the list:

    -Replace tonneau cover with a mid-rise or high-rise camper shell. If anyone has such a shell, let me know. If anyone wants my tonneau, let me know, but I want to get a shell before I get rid of the tonneau.

    -Build a bed / storage platform and desk / dining area. There are so many great ideas for this on this site!

    -Remove part or all of the Access Cab seats and build a storage system back there. I started it with the idea of keeping some of the seats in, but have since decided to remove them entirely.

    IMG_9707.jpg

    -Roof rack.

    -Get and mount the usual off road and recovery gear: air compressor, sand boards, a jack, shovel, jerry can(s), fire extinguisher, etc.

    -Double-check and / or add tow points.

    -Plastidip some stuff, just because it seems like a cheap way to have some fun. I tried some gunmetal gray, was not thrilled with the results (my fault) or the look (color choice). Doing it at 105F in the sun probably didn't help. Also, now that I've done it once, I think I went a little overboard with the masking.

    IMG_9705.jpg

    == Stuff I'm not sure about ==

    -Leveling / lifting, bigger tires, etc.

    -Bumpers, winch.

    -Rock sliders. I don't anticipate doing anything crazy enough to warrant them for the eponymous purpose, but they do seem more useful, for what I might get into, as safe(-er) jacking points on the side of the truck.

    -Skid plate(s).

    == Before photos ==

    Here are some shots of my Tundra a few days after I bought it, to serve as a baseline before my mods, damage, and desert pinstriping.

    IMG_9616.jpg
    IMG_9628.jpg
    IMG_9647.jpg IMG_9676.jpg IMG_9658.jpg
     
  2. May 13, 2018 at 12:20 PM
    #2
    Dmas

    Dmas New Member

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    Congrats on the new truck, it looks very clean and well maintained.
     
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  3. May 13, 2018 at 12:49 PM
    #3
    Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf ELITE Grey Wolf Crew

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    18"X9" FN BFD's rims, 295/70R/18E Cooper Discoverer STT Pro's, and S/T Maxx's, upgraded to Old Man EMU coil-overs/shocks. Toytec shackles. Custom dual true dual exhaust. Body Armor Rock Steps, Smittybilt X20 winch, DV8 winch bumper
    Nice!!!!
     
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  4. May 13, 2018 at 2:22 PM
    #4
    alex.wimpee

    alex.wimpee New Member

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    Awesome!!! Welcome to the family! I currently run 285/75 BFG K02 tires which used to barely rub on super sharp turns when I had stock suspension. That was fixed with 1/4” spacers though. But other than that they’re just big enough to give you a little more clearance but not so big where you have to gear down to save your diff or get a lift. For what it looks like you do they’d be perfect. Maybe throw an E-Locker in there and you’ll be set!
     
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  5. May 13, 2018 at 2:27 PM
    #5
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Cool, thanks for the specific advice! It does seem like I don't need to do anything dramatic, at least not to start with, so choosing tires like that that won't require other significant modifications sounds like just the ticket.
     
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  6. May 13, 2018 at 3:00 PM
    #6
    TheBeast

    TheBeast Dirtbag

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    clean gen 1 !
     
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  7. May 13, 2018 at 3:27 PM
    #7
    JBSTOY

    JBSTOY Was tired, so I woke up.

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    Really cool story and photography. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  8. May 17, 2018 at 11:40 PM
    #8
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    2003 Tundra Access Cab SR5 TRD Off-Road
    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    When I brought my Tundra home from the dealer I looked through all the compartments and cubby holes and such. Found all of the service records from the previous owner, complete with mailing address. So I sent him a postcard and asked him to get in touch if he wanted.

    The gentleman called me this afternoon and we had a great chat. I asked him about the vehicle - was it really in as good a condition as the dealer claimed, were there any problems or anything - and he said all kinds of great things (and he has zero reason to BS me). He just took amazing care of the truck, took the idea of preventative maintenance to a crazy extreme. Looks like I have a pretty solid truck to start off my next 200K miles. Also cool to make another good connection.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  9. May 18, 2018 at 12:03 AM
    #9
    Cuzin Eddie

    Cuzin Eddie New Member

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    2014 CM Black Platinum 4X4
    TRD Supercharged * BDS 4.5 level with Fox Shocks * AMP running Boards * Bed Rug, Spyder Headlights with HID Conversion * 46 Gal TransferFlow Fuel Tank * Fuel 2 Piece Hostage Wheels * 35" Toyo RT's * Backflip Bed Cover * Pioneer Avic NEX8200 with Amp, Speakers & Subs * Trailer Tow Mirrors * N-Fab Bumper Bar with 30" Vision LED Light Bar *
    This is a cool story!
     
  10. May 18, 2018 at 1:22 AM
    #10
    az chip

    az chip New Member

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    I am a amateur radio op and my truck had a callsign in the rear window. I looked it up and emailed him. He emailed back and he has filled in the blanks on the history of my one owner truck. Sometimes making contact with a conscientious previous owner works out.
     
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  11. May 19, 2018 at 2:31 PM
    #11
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    A couple of days ago I picked up a camper shell from a really nice new friend down in Tucson.

    _MG_5256.jpg

    It's not an exact color match, but this beggar can't be a chooser right now.

    _MG_5259.jpg

    It's bare inside, so I need to learn about carpeting, repairing the torn-out screens, and then have fun putting in some lights and stuff!
     
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  12. May 19, 2018 at 2:34 PM
    #12
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Today I fixed the broken window latch / hinges in the access cab section. Very exciting. If you just can't wait to find out more, I wrote it up here.

    IMG_9856.jpg

    All fixed.

    IMG_9858.jpg
     
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  13. May 19, 2018 at 5:37 PM
    #13
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Floor mats. Sigh.

    First I ordered Weathertechs, since they seemed to be widely used and loved. I was not impressed - they didn't fit like a glove like in the photos. For one thing, I realize, the 1st gen Tundras don't have a recessed footwell - the threshold is the same level as the floor, so the mat doesn't sit down in. I also thought that the matching gray version looked cheap and plasticy, so I got black, and when I installed them I wasn't thrilled.

    I thought I'd try Huskys, but as far as I can tell they don't make their fancy models for older trucks, and what I got looked horrible. For $62 I want something that is sturdier and better looking than a tray from a hospital cafeteria.

    IMG_9864.jpg

    Whereas the Weathertechs had a gap to catch my feet on, theirs was unintentional and fixable. The Huskys have a lip that sticks up and, yes, will perhaps trap liquids better. I think, though, that I will rarely get that much water in there, while I will guaranteed get pissed off at catching my feet on it every time I get in the truck.

    IMG_9865.jpg

    I was all set to return both sets and try a gray Weathertech, but... decided to just keep the black ones and move on with life.

    IMG_9861.jpg

    I really don't like this gap at the door sill, but two things: 1) I have heard that after a few days, especially in Arizona heat, it will droop and conform to the floor better, and 2) a little piece of velcro underneath should hold it down ok.

    IMG_9862.jpg

    Same deal for this gap in the passenger foot well. Either it will droop into place or I'll fasten it somehow.

    IMG_9863.jpg

    Not really sure what's going on here. First I don't feel like the mat should have to go behind the console panel thing, and second, I don't know what the bump in the mat is for. It's clearly formed, so do some 1st gens have a hose or something in that space (it's the left side of the passenger foot well).

    The driver side fit slightly better, but still has that sill gap.

    Anyhow, if somebody with a first gen is trying to decide on Weathertech or Husky, black on gray or not, here's my experience for ya.
     
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  14. May 20, 2018 at 8:40 PM
    #14
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Tried to install seals on the new-to-me camper shell. Didn't go so well. Here's the write-up.

    IMG_9887.jpg

    IMG_9889.jpg

    Also failed at installing DIY superstrut accessory / utility rails. Here's that experience.

    IMG_9870.jpg

    IMG_9873.jpg

    IMG_9881.jpg

    My finger is in the hole I had been planning to bolt everything through, before removing the bed cap and discovering the hole isn't accessible.
     
  15. May 21, 2018 at 1:20 AM
    #15
    az chip

    az chip New Member

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    We all have a learning curve. Some are more vertical than others! Sometimes we do stuff that doesn't work. The other day I ran some radio wiring down the right side firewall seal to the rear of the cab for a radio install. As soon as I transmitted it switched in to 4 wheel high. Guess where the 4x4 control box is? Yep. Right where this idiot ran the wiring!
     
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  16. May 21, 2018 at 1:27 AM
    #16
    GNTundra

    GNTundra The Notorious Troll Sniper

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    Tsé Navajo language, correct?
    :)
     
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  17. May 21, 2018 at 8:21 AM
    #17
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Yeah. My fiancée insists on naming vehicles, and with a name that starts with the letter of the vehicle make, so in this instance "T" for Toyota. Her Ford Escape is "Flora" since it's bright yellow. I needed a "T" name, and I didn't really dig the boring normal names she came up with. Tommy, Teddy, Tim, etc. I tried for Theodore (Roosevelt) but that didn't fly with her.

    I finally went through some Navajo words and saw that "Tséchʼízhí" means "rough rock", which seemed fitting for where I want to go with this truck. When I think of getting out into the desert I head straight for Navajo Nation itself, and spend a lot of time in other ancestral Navajo lands in southern Utah, mainly.

    I still need to practice pronouncing Tséchʼízhí, so the truck is generally "Tśe" ("rock") for short.
     
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  18. Jun 13, 2018 at 8:30 AM
    #18
    k1ng124

    k1ng124 New Member

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    Any pics of the black WT mats from a distance? Can't decide if I should go with black or tan.
     
  19. Jun 13, 2018 at 1:02 PM
    #19
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Sorry for crappy photos.

    0CCF6563-870B-4D89-A821-BE46648B48CF.jpg

    8A8D987B-7E49-47DE-AA99-EBA5A34148D8.jpg

    This gap bugs me...

    E35C4E6A-5428-488C-AB49-89563F89698C.jpg

    ...and I’m not sure what this is for, nor does it fit well.

    A529250E-59D6-4F7C-8715-91A217B7F300.jpg
     
  20. Jun 14, 2018 at 7:28 AM
    #20
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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    Yeah, the fitment just isn’t correct. I just snapped a pic of my passenger side liner and everything lines up:
    E268EEE5-D566-48BF-B21F-E0B72CD3068F.jpg

    And minimal gap on the drivers side:
    221B62B4-5585-4709-931C-7D4560C84713.jpg
     
  21. Jun 14, 2018 at 8:43 AM
    #21
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Interesting, thanks. Maybe it's worth an email to Weathertech. I figured I was just being overly picky - and I had been hoping that a few days in Phoenix heat would help them form into place - but they just don't look like the advertised / promised fit, nor do they look like yours fit.
     
  22. Jul 20, 2018 at 9:01 PM
    #22
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.


    As I've probably mentioned, building a living space in a vehicle has been a daydream since before I got my driver's license. Back then I assumed it would be a van, with more space, but when I learned that four-wheel-drive vans are crazy expensive for some reason, and that pickups with camper shells made more sense, I shifted gears, ended up with my Tundra, yadda yadda.

    Here's the first step. [edit: "third step", since I suppose buying the truck and then the camper shells were steps 1 & 2.] I did a bunch of research and collected many examples of what others had done. I didn't want a full-width bed/platform, since ideally I want to be able to sit on the bed and type / work / eat at a table across from it. (I do realize I need a mid-rise or high-rise shell to do that comfortably.) I did, however, want to be able to sleep two for when I l̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶m̶i̶n̶d̶ , er, talk my fiancee into going along.



    I found this example and used it as my inspiration. Low single bed on the left, higher surface on the right, and, critically, a center section that can slide into place for, as somebody on here put it, "romance mode".

    I think it might be a tad over-engineered. I wasn't sure how plywood and all would hold up, and I did not want to put money, time, and effort into it and be frustrated for the next 10 years because it's flimsy. So, it's 3/4 in maple plywood for the top and bottom, 1x10s (milled down) for the outer wall and drawer walls, and a 2x10 for the main center wall. I made that thicker to, eventually, help support the center bed plank when I get to that. Pretty sure I could use it as a bridge over a small ravine if I had to...



    Which is nice, except of course that the added thickness adds cost to the materials, adds weight and reduces gas mileage, and cuts into cargo volume. If I ever do it again, I might try slightly thinner material in some places.



    I used skateboard bearings (100pcs for $25 on Amazon) for the drawer slides, and 3/4 square steel tube. A lot of people use 1in, but to my thinking that wastes 1/2in of width on the drawer, i.e., cuts down on storage volume. Half an inch over the full ~6ft length is not nothing! :) The 3/4 seems perfectly adequate. Better, in fact, since there's less opportunity for...angular force (?) on it. I was able to get a washer, the bearing, another washer, and a nylon lock nut on the bolt with a hair of gap between the wall and the drawer, with the 3/4 tube, so why not?



    The weird strips along the right-hand side are because I need 2 1/4in bolts and apparently they only come in 1/2in increments and I was too lazy, so far, to hack saw all 20 of them to the proper length, so I put in a couple of pieces of scrap wood for spacers. Some day I'll fix that. Ha.

    Also, as somebody will probably notice, access to the space in front of, above, and behind the wheel well is...not ideal. In back at least I can slide stuff in - in front it is, for now, totally inaccessible. Need to decide if I want a hinged door or a removable panel. That's also in Phase II.

    Aside from basic wood and nuts and bolts, here's the stuff I used:

    3/4 square steel tube from a metal supply company. Note: some people have pointed out that some tube as rounded corners, which probably wouldn't be as ideal as more sharply square corners.

    Skateboard / fidget spinner bearings: http://a.co/ijcTp7p I used about 20 per side.

    Pull handle: http://a.co/cjCmhA0

    I could write up more of the thought / design process, but I'd just be regurgitating what others have written. You can google them like I did, but if you have specific questions, and you think I might be useful, lemme know!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  23. Jul 21, 2018 at 2:56 PM
    #23
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Living the dream!
     
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  24. Sep 3, 2018 at 11:06 AM
    #24
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    TL;DR version: Need ideas on opening a tailgate with a busted handle and no access to the inside of the tailgate, and a source for a new handle in the Phoenix area on Labor Day.

    Long version with "I'm an idiot" details:

    So...went bouncing around a bit on forest roads north of the Mogollon Rim over the weekend. My nice heavy sturdy (i.e., over-engineered) storage drawer / sleeping platform shifted a bit and put enough pressure on the tailgate that it was difficult to close, but I managed to shove it shut.

    ...and then couldn't open it. Ended up snapping the handle off. Ooops. I figured this was going to happen eventually - the handle has felt like something wasn't right for quite a while. Better under these relatively controlled situation than on a multi-week backcountry excursion.

    IMG_1010.jpg

    Anyhow, here's where the funny / stupid comes in: in order to maximize storage space in the drawer, I made it with about 1/4in of space between the drawer box and the truck bed. I can't remove the panel that provides access to the hatch mechanism. And the box (fully loaded with stuff) is extremely heavy AND has no easy way to grasp onto it anyhow. Getting it up and over the tailgate would be difficult, if not impossible due to the 1/4in clearance and angles and stuff.

    Here's the best part: thinking I was being smart, I put my wallet in the drawer before closing it up for the night. So now my driver's license, most of my credit cards, and what little cash I carry are all stuck in there.

    All of those people who say "the drawer systems provide extra security, since you can't access them with the tailgate up and locked" are right...but what do you do when the tailgate latch breaks!?

    So, any suggestions?

    I have a few things to try:

    1) Screwing a screw into the stubs of the handle to see if I can pull on that hard enough to release the latches. I have my doubts.

    2) Unscrew the access panel (after going to the store and buying a set of Torx bits) and prying it away far enough to reach in with a hook and pull the latch cables.

    3) Unscrew the top of my storage system and remove that piece of plywood, which is heavy, and all of the drawer's contents, thereby hopefully making the rest light enough to lift out, then have easy access to the latch mechanism from the inside. Would be great if it weren't 107F to do all this in. Happy Labor Day!

    4) Ask y'all if there is a way to access the latch from the outside.

    5) Go to a Toyota dealership and see if they have a way to access the latch from the outside.
     
  25. Sep 3, 2018 at 2:14 PM
    #25
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Yeah you need to find a way to get that latch to release without removing all your stuff from inside. First, start by relieving the pressure against the tailgate. Lever your boxes away from tailgate to relieve the pressure to make it easier to rig a way to get that handle to drop the gate.

    Otherwise, take a dremel to the backside of the plastic liner and open up a section large enough to get your hand in there to release the gate. Again take any pressure off that gate as thats creating a lock pointon your side latches. Their are two rods that connect to each latch on either side. If you can pull one of those (needle nose) it may activate to other side as they work in conjunction when handle is pulled up.
     
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  26. Sep 3, 2018 at 4:29 PM
    #26
    Brown Bear

    Brown Bear New Member

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    6" RCD lift in front. Custom leaf springs in rear 4" lift. 17" race line, raptor wheels. 35" Goodyear Duratrac. 4.88 gears. ARB rear air locker. ARB air compressor and tank. Black Oak Led 40 watt ditch lights.
    This is the back side of your handle. The circled metal part needs to be pushed down to release the latch.2018-09-03 16.11.47.jpg
    You might be able to drill out the broken part of your handle to access that metal tab that needs to be pushed down.2018-09-03 16.15.22.jpg
    After you drill it out you might be able to pry that metal tab down with a flat head screw driver to release the tailgate.
     
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  27. Sep 3, 2018 at 6:54 PM
    #27
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    You, sir, get a beer or two if you ever come to town. I wasn't able to pry - because of the angles involved it just bent that metal part away from me. I tried to hook it with something - an allen wrench, zip tie (broke) - but nothing was working.

    I started rooting around in my toolbox for something stronger, a piece of wire or something, and saw some wrenches. A 17mm wrench did the trick!

    IMG_1071.jpg

    Opened!

    IMG_1072.jpg
     
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  28. Sep 3, 2018 at 7:57 PM
    #28
    Brown Bear

    Brown Bear New Member

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    Right on. Glad it worked.
     
  29. Sep 3, 2018 at 8:11 PM
    #29
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Thank you for taking time to help me out! I think you were talking about going in from the back of the tailgate, and on mine, at least, that is a metal access panel, not a plastic liner.

    Update:

    I got a third-party latch on Amazon which was available for same-day delivery, so I was able to replace the assembly and can lock the tailgate for the night, but it's a pretty flimsy piece of plastic crap. Need to get a good one before this one breaks too.

    Update: Ordered a proper new handle from Roman!
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  30. Sep 12, 2018 at 8:23 AM
    #30
    Rheywood456

    Rheywood456 New Member

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    Heck yeah! Very similar to my build. But I went PVC instead of wood for the bed / storage platform.

    Also, I used to live in Page. I worked on Lake Powell. Was living the dream. Now I’m in KC...
     
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